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Are LA’s parking ticket fines and late fees unconstitutional? (Poll)




 A row of parking meters line O'Farrell Street on July 3, 2013 in San Francisco, California.
A row of parking meters line O'Farrell Street on July 3, 2013 in San Francisco, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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A federal court will decide whether parking tickets in Los Angeles violate the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments’ prohibition of excessive fines. Two L.A. residents with similar stories are suing after being charged what they call exorbitant penalties for late payment on parking tickets.

The tickets, issued in downtown Los Angeles at $63 each, but after the two-week deadline for payment passed, the fines went up to $175. According to the attorney for the two plaintiffs, the fees amounted to 174.4 percent of the median daily wage for L.A. residents and 336 percent of the median daily wage for Latinos.

Angelenos aren’t the only ones griping about the high price of a parking ticket. Other cities have dealt with heavy fines by allowing violators to make payment plans, extend payments, or volunteer to pay off their debt.

Are parking ticket fines unconstitutional? How long should people have to pay off their tickets, and what penalties should late payment incur? How will this case fare before the court?

Guests: 

Donald Norris, founder of Norris and Galanter LLP and attorney in the L.A. parking ticket case

Beth Colgan, Thomas C. Grey fellow at Stanford Law School and former  Managing Attorney of the Institutions Project at Columbia Legal Services in Seattle, Washington

Read the full complaint below:

LINK